Review: HER DARKEST NIGHTMARE by Brenda NovakHer Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak
Series: The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles #1
Also in this series: Hanover House
Published by St. Martin's Press on August 30th 2016
Pages: 432
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Also by this author: Hanover House
eARC provided by St. Martin's Press

AmazonBook Depository

First in an electrifying new series from New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak


Evelyn Talbot knows that a psychopath can look perfectly normal. She was only sixteen when her own boyfriend Jasper imprisoned and tortured her—and left her for dead. Now an eminent psychiatrist who specializes in the criminal mind, Evelyn is the force behind Hanover House, a maximum-security facility located in a small Alaskan town. Her job puts her at odds with Sergeant Amarok, who is convinced that Hanover is a threat to his community...even as his attraction to beautiful Evelyn threatens to tear his world apart.


Then, just as the bitter Alaskan winter cuts both town and prison off from the outside world, the mutilated body of a local woman turns up. For Amarok, this is the final proof he needs: Hanover has to go. Evelyn, though, has reason to fear that the crime is a personal message to her—the first sign that the killer who haunts her dreams has found her again. . .and that the life she has so carefully rebuilt will never be the same...

“Brenda Novak's seamless plotting, emotional intensity, and true-to-life characters...make her books completely satisfying.”—New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan

Reading time 3 mins

I read the prequel to this book, HANOVER HOUSE, late last year. This new series by Brenda Novak follows psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot. She was tortured and left when she was only 16. Evelyn now works with the very same type of psychopaths that almost killed her. She needs to understand them. Her pet project has been creating the Hanover House in remote Hilltop, Alaska. It is the only facility that seeks to study and understand America’s most dangerous killers. Evelyn’s nightmare begins when the mutilated body of a local woman is found. For the only cop in the town, Amarok, it confirms his beliefs that Hanover House has brought crime to his town. When a body part is found in Evelyn’s bed, she is sure it is her ex who was never caught. Together Evelyn and Amarok must figure out if it is the man who almost killed her or a new evil lurking among them.

This isn’t my normal sort of read. I can’t help loving the characters though. I love that Evelyn has made it her life’s mission to understand how someone who looks so normal could be a serial killer. She is damaged goods, there is no doubt about that. She uses her past to motivate her. The only place that she isn’t healed is in her love life. I could completely see how someone who was tortured by their first love might have issues getting intimate with anyone else. I was rooting so hard for Evelyn and Amarok to be together. I won’t tell you if got my wish, but I think it was a nice distraction from all the horror these two face in this story.

Everyone who knows me, knows I would love to move to Alaska. The rugged terrain and remoteness really sounds peaceful. This location is actually anything but for the characters in this story. Between the actual work Evelyn does with the convicts and the sketchy people who work with her, Evelyn is surrounded by crazy. This story moves at a great pace. I was horrified for everyone at Hilltop and disgusted at the actions of some of the characters. I was eager to see what happened and how Evelyn would remain in control over Hanover House and if she could actually use her experience to outwit the killer.

The author starts every chapter with a quote from a known convicted psychopath. Although these infamous killers don’t make any appearances in this story, their quotes add something special to this book. It helped me to remember that people like those Evelyn works with are real. This makes the behavior and speech of the patients Evelyn is working with all the more frightening.

I love the protagonist and the setting of this series. This story is complete enough to be a stand-alone. I am excited to know it is part of a series. I am definitely a fan of the Evelyn Talbot Chronicles!

My Rating


Check out a trailer for HER DARKEST NIGHTMARE

The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles

About Brenda Novak

It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.
“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”
However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.
Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer.
“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”
Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader's Choice, the Bookseller's Best, the Write Touch, the Award of Excellence and the Beacon Award for Published Authors.
Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.
When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fundraiser for diabetes research—an on-line auction held at her website May 1st – May 31st. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking--she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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